Washington Post: 200+ Companies Boycott Glenn Beck’s Program
In a recent article on Fox News’ internal distress over Glenn Beck, Howard Kurtz from the Washington Post reports (emphasis added):
More than 200 companies have joined a boycott of Beck’s program, making it difficult for Fox to sell ads. The time has instead been sold to smaller firms offering such products as Kaopectate, Carbonite, 1-800-PetMeds and Goldline International. A handful of advertisers, such as Apple, have abandoned Fox altogether. Network executives say they believe they could charge higher rates if the host were more widely acceptable to advertisers.
This is excellent news and consistent with the StopBeck effort’s internal numbers. One bit of information that Mr. Kurtz left out is that all advertisers in the U.K. have abandoned his show. Consequently, in the U.K., Glenn Beck’s show has run without any commercials since February 9.
But its easy to forget that ratings only matter if your numbers can successfully convince advertisers to purchase time on a program. To hear Kurtz tell it, Beck’s program is like that “Twilight Zone” episode where a librarian is left alone with a million books and a broken pair of glasses.
As an aside the discrepancy between my public list, which lists 136 advertisers, and Mr. Kurtz’s is the result of two issues:
Some advertisers drop Glenn Beck, but refuse to acknowledge it publicly. (Our recent situation with Discovery is likely an example of this).
Some advertisers pre-empt being the target of the advertiser boycott by simply excluding Glenn Beck from their ad agreements prior to airing their ads.
Kurtz’s report confirms that Glenn Beck’s sponsor loss is having an actual effect. It should also amplify calls from NewsCorp shareholders and media watchdogs for answers to two questions:
Why does Mr. Murdoch and Fox News continue to absorb the financial losses caused by Glenn Beck’s program?
And, what is their plan for dealing with it going forward?
Glenn Beck’s sponsor loss is the result of action by participants in the StopBeck effort as well as work from great organizations like Color of Change, Media Matters and SEIU.
Your tweets and emails to sponsors do matter.
Onward we go…
Thanks to the Twitter users who alerted me to today’s Hollywood Reporter post: @RobbJ, @dobstey, @JamilD, @immunis. Apologies if you sent the post my way and I left you off the list.